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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    May 3, 2013
    1:00 - 2:01pm PDT  

>> good afternoon, it's friday, may the 3rd. the sun is shining. it is a beautiful spring day. what better time than this to gather with 70,000 friends and worship at the alter of the nra. >> stand, fight. >> make sure our second amendment rights are respected. >> we wanted to make the 1022 look like a modern assault rifle. >> we don't mistake battles for war. >> leave our freedom alone. >> everyone who voted against it is suffering and are going to continue to suffer. >> i have a lot of concerns about that leading to a registry. >> there's no indication that's
true at all. >> thank you so much for your vote -- >> things happen somewhat slower in washington, but this is just the first round. >> rick perry! >> it is a busy friday and we're watching multiple developments this afternoon. the president is touching down in san jose, costa rica, the second and last stop on his latin america trip and a press conference last night in mexico, the president said he's not give ing up on his push to pass gun safety reform. >> things happen somewhat slowly in washington. but this is just the first round. >> that remark coming as the nra gets its convention underway. more on that just ahead and a record day on wall street. the dow breaking 15,000 for the first time earlier today.
fueled by an encouraging jobs report. positive news at the end of a week and we'll go to boston, where we're learning that the bombing suspects may have originally planned their attack for the fourth of july and did tamerlan meet up with a known militant in dagestan? more on that coming up, but we begin with gun sanity nra edition as the big bash is now underway down in houston, texas. 550 exhibiters from argentina wild wings to voodoo tactical are all coming together for a nine acre gun extravaganza. among last year's conference was a must for presidential hopefuls, mitt romney, newt gingrich and rick santorum all attended. today, well, there was just this guy entering the stage, all guns blazing.
that guy is a good shot. you better believe it. the politics appear to be a bit more complicated with ted cruz, the only member of congress who showed up at the event, but with a very clear message. >> we will filibuster any legislation that undermines the bill of right to keep and bear arms. >> of course, none of the legislation that's been put forth enfringes the second amend, but he's against it any way. joining us now from just outside the nbc political producer, casey ha. since the last nra convention, we've had moviegoers gunned down in aurora, colorado, 20 first graders and six adults massacred at sandy hook elementary. just yesterday, a man opened fire at houston airport, dying of a possible self-inflicted gun shot wound. but seems like none of that's
dampening the gun lovers of the nra today, is it? >> the mood here is very defiant. the motto is stand and fight and they are demonstrating that with their t-shirts, the stalls, the speeches. you saw senator ted cruz get up there, the filibuster he helped lead with senator mike lee and he got a standing ovation for that. >> so, not a single mention of after ar 15. that weapon of choice in these recent mass shootings. >> a form of the assault rifle and it's on pretty broad display here. the convention center is full of exhibiters, sellers, brands like smith & wesson and colt and other firearms manufacturers and that's a type of gun that is pretty popular. >> indeed, it is. wayne lapierre knows just how to set up the debate over gun
safety measures. let's take a listen to him. >> lawrence o'donnells and rachel maddows, they pound the message over and over again. but let me make this perfectly clear. we will never back away from our resolve to defend our rights and the rights of all law-abiding american gun owners. >> so, just so i understand it, it's our profession and our colleagues, rachel maddow and lawrence o'donnell versus law-abiding gun owners, even though none of those people have suggested taking away their rights and 98% of americans actually favor expanded background checks. >> well, for this conservative audience, going after the media is something that's pretty popular. he got a lot of cheers for that. you see that at a lot of other conservative conferences across the board and the attendees here
really do blame the media for highlighting this issue, especially in the wake of newtown. they actually feel like they are under some you know, assault, really as this debate goes on and they say that they're seeing what they want from their leaders at the nra in pushing back. >> and yet, we know it's not just the media is it because today in the houston chronicle, mark kelly, the husband of gabby giffords, who was shot in the head, he's written a piece in which he talks about the fact that he believes the nra needs a new generation of leaders because the old generation is clearly not listening to the people of america who do want to see some change in relation to background checks. he also points out that wayne lapierre makes a salary of around a million dollars. >> and martin, the difference really since newtown is that the gun control forces really do have their boots on the ground in a way that we haven't seen in
quite some time. the gun control supporters are here. they've been reading the names of gun violence victims. there are several relatives of newtown that are here. i was speaking to one earlier whose son was killed. he said he was on the phone yesterday with mark pryor trying to get him to reconsider the vote he made. >> we'd like you o stick around for our conversation with laurie haas, the mother of a virginia tech survivor. next, did the boston bombers initially plan to attack one of the nation's oldest fourth of july celebrations? new clues in this rapidly unraveling mystery. stay with us. these mr. clean guys, they're like a clean team. did you see mr. clean disinfecting bath cleaner killing that bacteria yesterday, just flaunting it? and did you see the magic eraser clean up that crazy kitchen mess?
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let's get to the latest in the boston marathon bombing investigation. the surviving suspect in the bombings told the fbi that he and his older brother had planned to strike on the fourth of july. but they chose patriots day april the 15th after constructing the bombs much more quickly than they'd expected. officials are revealing that the widow of tamerlan tsarnaev has testeded negative to a match of dna and fingerprints. investigators are saying that tamerlan met with one known militant during his trip to russia in 2011. the body of mr. tsarnaev, who was shot dead during a gunfight with police, has been moved to a funeral home in worcester, massachusetts. according to a report today in the boston globe, the body was first delivered to a different funeral home in another town, but had to be removed when a
group of demonstrators assembled outside in protest. we're joined now by michael isakoff and by roger cressey, terrorism analyst for nbc news. mike, i understand you have some information for us on the issue of the visas, the student visas that these young men secured access to the u.s. on. >> exactly, martin. it's more evidence of what members of congress say is bureaucratic bungling by homeland security firms here. it turns out that homeland security is now acknowledging that one of those two students actually entered the country in january on an expired visa. he wasn't eligible to enter the u.s. at all. he had been a student at u mass dartmouth campus, but had been dismissed from the school apparently because of failure to
attend class, so his student visa was no longer valid. it turns out that the branch of homeland security was aware of this, had information about it, but didn't share that information with the customs and border patrol folks who do the inspections at the airport, so while the information was in the system, it wasn't with the relevant people that could have prevented him from entering the country. >> but mike, just to be clear, could this student not have entered simply as a visitor without reference to that student visa as many do from russia? >> he could have applied for a different visa, but he would have to go through another process. the fact is, the visa he entered was not valid and he could have been prevented from entering the country. members of congress are asking why did that happen. why wasn't the information shared. now, look, would any of this have changed anything relating
to the bombing? probably not. we've said from the beginning none of these three students had prior knowledge of the bombing, but they are now facing some pretty serious charges about the events relating to that night, removing the backpack and the laptop computer from the apartment after the photos were released by the fbi. so, again, this is just one more aspect that's going to be re-examined and investigate d b congress at in the math of this attack. >> roger, when you reflect on this e mernling information, that these individuals were actually not even planning to attack the boston marathon, but had planned something for the fourth of july and then changed their proposal because they made these bombs earlier than expected, it paints a picture that these guys are not really the most kind of really brilliant criminal minds, are they? >> no, not by a long shot. again, all we have is dzhokhar's statement to go on, but if what
he said is true and accurate, then it really does paint a picture of a couple of kids who went down to path and then they random sort of way that really defies explanation. made these choices, these split second choices that led to the death and destruction on that monday. the fact that if the statement is true, that they made the bombs, they were all right, we got them done sooner than we thought, let's go detonate them now. sophisticate is not a word i would associate with either one, but still quite deadly. >> you don't look using that word in relation to terrorists. >> hate it. >> i'm with you. the widow of tamerlan tsarnaev, whom we can see here in a mug shot taken after her arrest in 2007, that was for shoplifting at the old navy store. now, her dna might not have matched the material found on that bomb fragment, but that does not put an end to the fbi's
interest in her, does it? surely she still is of interest. >> well, just to be clear, the mug shot of the woman who was arrested for shoplifting is the mother of is tsarnaev brothers. not the widow. >> i'm sorry. thank you. >> widow of tamerlan has not been charged with any crime, but she's of high interest to federal investigators. they did take her dna the other day. they want to know everything she might have known about tamerlan tsarnaev's activities in the weeks and months before the bombing. she hasn't been charged with any crime, but even if even if she did not have prior knowledge of the bombing, she's an absolutely crucial witness in trying to trace his steps, trace his activities, up until the attack and who he might have met with and who he might have been in communication with. >> and mike, just so that we can
be clear, was she living with tamerlan because their child, their daughter, was spending a good deal of time with her parents, wasn't she? >> right. there's been a lot of conflicting accounts about the exact nature of the relationship, where they were living, what they were, what the exact nature of the relationship was. what we were told is that she is, she was working as a home health care aide, that the, her parents were spending a lot of time taking care of that daughter and that tamerlan was a sometimes stay at home dad, but there's a lot of gaps in what, in what we know about this relationship and tamerlan tsarnaev's activities in the weeks and months before the bombing. >> roger, "the new york times" quotes bill keating saying this about tamerlan's trip to russia in 2011.
i'm comfortable that on that trip, he reached out to members of the insurgency in dagestan. he also tells the times tamerlan met with a militant by the name of mohammed nadal, correct? >> based on what we've seen so far, that is what's been reported, martin. if this is true, then this is a real important piece of information that both the fbi through the legal office in moscow working with the fsb, the russian domestic security service, they'll be able to paint a picture here and understand the facts because nadal probably or most certainly was under u surveillance by the fsb and most likely, they had electronic surveillance on him, so if that was the case, if tsarnaev met with him, there should be information and records on that and if that information is available and provided to the bureau, then that can really help us better understand what he did while he was in dagestan. the assumption up to this point, if there wasn't radicalization
going on, if it had started at the least, there was tactics and training support he got there. that period is so critical to us for us to understand why the bombings happen and if the fsb has this information, it could be really valuable to us. >> thank you. and a note, that was in fact the booking photo of catherine russell, who was arrested in 2007 on shoplifting charges at an old navy store. coming up, could job numbers ignite a rally in the market? but first, a broken record does tend to skip. stay with us. >> it's a very unusual move. the state department investigating its own report, trying to figure out who bungled the benghazi investigation and why key witnesses were never talked to. what's up with that? ♪ what's up with that what's up with that ♪
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ally bank. your money needs an ally. the nra convention of houston will be the -- hurt most by gun violence. with us now from richmond, virginia with me now, laurie haas and from the nra con enra, laugherty. nra's chief lobbyist said today while his group is praying for victims of tragedies like newtown, people like the president are scheming to take advantage of people like yourself. what is your response to that suggestion that you are being
deployed, manipulated by people like the president? >> honestly, it's comical to me. i am 100% acting on my own accord. i'm here because i want to be. i'm here because me along with 90% of the american population, actually 74% of nra members, agree with the universal background checks. >> right, now, i'd like to play a bit more sound from today's event. here's the great wayne lapierre, take a listen to him. >> they have been ranting and raving, trying to blame and shame, peaceful, law-abiding american gun owners for senseless violence. and yet, it's the nra, but a step forward meaningful solutions that would actually help make people safer. >> so, the nra has stepped forward with solutions to make us safer. what a relief. why aren't people like yourself
listening to their ideas? just arm everybody and we'll be safe. >> clearly, it's not working. americans have the greatest percentage of gun ownership in the world and the greatest percentage of gun deaths in the civilized world. he said something that makes it you know, that touches on a point. we're not going after sensible, law-abiding gun owners. we're going after dangerous individuals who have easy access to firearms and then destroy our families, kill our children, our neighbors. this is unacceptable. that's who we're going after. we want a background check on every buyer so we can weed out the dangerous people who would do harm to our family and friends. >> absolutely. erica, you recently confronted senator kelly ayotte, asking why she opposed background checks legislation. and you weren't alone. now, i want to play a bit of a clip from a town hall on thursday. take a listen.
>> it doesn't make sense to me what is wrong with universal background checks? >> thank you, john. i will tell you in terms of a universal background check as it's been framed. i have a lot of concerns about leadinging to a registry that will create a privacy situation for lawful firearms owners. >> now, erica, as i recall, the bill actually made it a felony to create such a register. were you satisfied with miss ayotte's response and the response to you earlier in the week? >> absolutely not. her coming right out saying she was concerned it was dwoipg to lead to a registry, not only does it prohibit it in the proposal, it makes it a federal crime, i believe. so that argument just like the
one -- is completely irrelevant. i asked her why the burden on people try iing to sell firearm was more important than my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school and she turned around to say she's concerned about mental health. that's not the question that i asked and any defense that she has come up with is, it's not relevant. >> erica, given what you've lost and what you've just been through, i have to say i admire your courage for going anywhere near that convention today. i mean, that can't be an easy thing for you to do, is it? >> it's definitely not an easy thing, but it absolutely is the right thing. >> why is that? i mean, your life has been shattered. your mother, you've lost your mother in this horrific, horrific shooting. >> i know, but if -- if what i'm doing, if my voice being loud
and my strength to confront the people who are you know, opposing this and knocking down the legislation that was proposed, if that can even save one life, that's absolutely worth it to me. no one ever, ever, ever should have to feel the pain that i have and my family has. >> we salute your courage. thank you, both. >> thank you. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. [ male announcer ] you know that guy who sells those remote control helicopters at the mall. buy'em or don't. whatever man. either way, he gets to fly helicopters all day. i'm talking da vinci style flying machines! he's dating kayla, the lotion girl. able bodied athleticism. here's his buddy marco, who's got the hot water for his velveeta shells & cheese.
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>> ryan said no milk, no sugar, just urban. >> you u all remember the sequester. >> republicans fell in love with this thing. >> 70,000 children will be kicked out of head start. 4 million fewer meals on wheels for seniors. >> now, they carved out this exception because they wanted to get home. >> they don't care about meals on wheels unless it's rolling down an aisle. >> you seem to suggest my job is to somehow get them to behave. that's their job. >> president obama took time out of his busy golf schedule. >> do you still have the juice to get the rest of your agenda? >> then often incoherent rambling unimpressive commander in chief. >> maybe i should just pack up and go home. >> you're one of the leaders for the republican party. >> i just think the president doesn't have the guts to believe it. >> no, i didn't have a chance to get to it. i was busy drinking bottleded water. >> greatest reply to a state of
the union speech i ever saw. >> modern day poet. whiz kaleefa. >> by the name of jay-z. >> the press is the democratic party and they are out now to destroy rubio. he's the front-runner. >> immigration reform could be really big in the republican party and that scores for senator rubio. >> one rising star would be senator marco rubio. >> i see the good of immigration. >> our black guy. >> marco rubio is not the man. well, there is an alternative. you could just not be a budget squishes. >> cruz is the man. >> let's get right to our panel. dana milbank, a political columnist and dr. james peterson, an associate professor at lehigh university and msnbc contributor. dana, the national review is out with a damming cover story on
mr. rubio and his immigration bill. it references the elites and obama care and even throws in a reference to alinsky and some version of amnesty 23 full-times and calls it the schumer rubio bill saying at one point, the schumer rubio bill seeks to implicate -- at the table by handing out more visas. what happened? >> if it continues, he may want to consider self-deportation, a little bit safer. right, he is supposed to be the savior of the party. we see what's happening with the -- doing to its savior and in a way, it's worse for the republican party now than if this whole thing had never happened because now, they have the guy, their guy, on immigration, a latino who came
out and said this is what we need to do on immigration and he's gone from being the party's best hope for 2016 to being excommunicated and this is going to be, wind up being more damaging to the republican brand in the long run, turning off latino voters for a generation or more. >> dr. peterson, national review is a widely read conservative magazine. what does it tell you that they turneded over their cover story to mark, who has made his name by running a think tank that opposes all and any immigration deals. >> it tells you in all honesty how complicated immigration reform has gotten. on the one hand, you have rubio, who's really just been outflanked by cruz. they're basing ways they just couldn't expect. i think they have a better sense now that the pathway to leaguization for undocumented workers and bringing folks to
america is going to increase the ranks amongst democrats and also, they're really concerned about the sort of tangled marass of these issue, things like gun control, you see the president down in mexico right now, worried about issues around violence and u.s. and drug policy, so it has a lot of complica complicated, moving parts to it that i don't think the strategists on the right were prepared for r when they dawned mr. rupe owe. >> and mr. rubio was on sean hannity's program wednesday and i'd like to play for you how he was introduced. >> senator marco arurubio from great state of florida is with us. how are you? >> i'm well, thanks for having me. >> do you regret getting involved in this immigration mess? >> so, dana, there's no hi, how are you, your children. it's do you regret getting involved in the immigration mess. how surprised do you think rubio is at the reaction he appears to be gaining from conservatives?
>> well, ha, ha, ha, that sounded just a little bit forced there. poor marco rubio. the sooner he realizes this and the rest of the republican party realizes this, the better. sean hannity is no there to help the republicans. rush limbaugh is not there to help the republicans. they would prefer to have a democratic president because it's better for business and they can keep railing against it. these guys have to realize they're causing a great deal of harm to the republican brand. zpl thank you for joining thus friday afternoon. stay with us. much more ahead. >> folks, i've always been a huge fan of superman, an incredibly handsome, glasses wearing reporter who night after night uses his superpowers to save america.
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>> and joining us now is karen finney, a soon to be colleague of mine here at the msnbc and former communications director at the dnc. let's get to the reasons why democrats hope mr. cruz wins. what is his biggest achilles heel in your view? worries over sharia law, his opposition to same-sex marriage, his able ility to insult memberf his own party? should i keep going? >> you can. i would say all of those have one thing in common and i think we just saw it in that clip. his ego. >> but karen, egos have never gotten in the way of people wanting to run for president. it normally is the very thing that drives them. >> however, there is a point at which you have to be able to be self-critical and recognize maybe critique criticizing members in our own party that you may need to get some things
done so if you run for president, you could talk about accomplishments. maybe just because you have a flare for the dramatic and you like to can accuse, say the iranian are celebrating the idea of chuck hagel as secretary, which happens to not be true, these things matter and add up and cause people to make the kinds of mistakes that do not hold up under scrutiny of a presidential candidate. >> well, as i was preparing if for today, let me read from a profile of senator cruz that mother jones ran last year. it's about his primary win for the senate race. cruz' campaign deployed a brand of glenn beck like tentherism, warning that the united nations was going to crack down on golf courses in the name of sustainability. karen, i ask you, is it only ted
cruz who can protect america's golf courses? >> yes. we could have ted cruz be the republican -- as you know, the republican party, in the aftermath of 2012, they're all convinced that the problem is not with their policies and their ideas like the one you just mentioned, but rather with their message and messenger. i think that's part of the appeal of someone like a ted cruz. that being said, again, if we just look at the demographics of the country, what he's talking about in that kind of extremism is not where the majority of americans are. but once again, i think i think the it's likely that the republican party can convince themselves that you know what? the facts doebt matter and the math doesn't matter and hey, we just like this guy. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> next, the white house rethinks its position on arming
rebels in syria. the conflict in that tattered country intensifies, but first, jackie has the cnbc market wrap. good afternoon. >> well, a big day on wall street with the dow and s&p 500 closing at all time highs after a strong jobs report this morning. the dow adding 142 points. the s&p closing up 16 and also, the nasdaq gaining 38 points. that's it from cnbc. first in business worldwide. [ female announcer ] a classic meatloaf recipe from stouffer's
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president obama has talked about red lines. >> yes. >> do you think bashar al assad has crossed a red line? >> not just for one time. many, many times, he crossed the red line. >> that was the military leader of rebels in syria talking exclusively to our richard engel about allegations that forces
loyal to president assad has used chemical weapons in their desperate battle to king to power. we're joined by richard and steve. rich, the president said that he hasn't seen a clear chain of custody that tells us who's been using chemical weapons in syria. but it seems like the chain of custody is all too clear for the rebel leader that you interviewed. >> he said the chain of custody is clear because not all the evidence they have uncovered, but because no one other than bashar al assad's regime could have used chemical weapons. he said the weapons were three times dropped by fighter jets, the rebels don't have fighter jets and that one time were delivered by a scud and they don't have those either. based on the description of the
evidence, these are hair samples, blood samples, urine, soil, those would not provide the kind of chain of evidence that the united states appears to be looking for. they would only say if a chemical agent was found in that substance, they wouldn't say how it got into that substance. the rebel commander we spoke to says the reason he thinks it has to be bashar is he believes his men didn't do it and that there's no other explanation except that the sophisticated weaponry used by the regime delivered those chemical agents. >> right. steve, defense secretary chuck hagel said that arming the syrian rebels may be one option to consider. but we also heard from the president, take a listen to the president. >> we want to make sure that we look before we leap and that what we're doing is helpful to the situation as opposed to making it more deadly or more
complex. >> steve, this situation has already claimed the lives of 70,000 civilians and forced a million syrians to flee the country. is this red line issue actually allowing a multitude of sins below the red line? >> well, i think that richard engel's precision and demand for precision is very, very important and very rare as many observers watch what's going on in syria today. people are looking at a red line and trying to say should this not trigger a greater immediate action by the united states in a broad array of fronts and the answer may be possibly yes. i think that's what you saw in chuck hagel's commentary. at the same time, the president is is saying we need to ask the bigger questions. what's really going on. how do we leave a constructive situation, a situation that can work after there may be an intervention. what is the exit plan in all of
this and those are the questions that many observers calling for greater intervention are not talking about and they are vital because syria is a real mess. richard knows libya well and there are going to be disputes about who the real heroes of the revolution are. who are the allies inside the assad regime behaving covertly? that's another potential scenario here, so there's a will the of complexity. the demand for a binary red line that gets action or inaction, would be an inept thing for the president of the united states to spend all of his time focused on. it is the broad eer ecosystem tt matters. >> right, but richard, to you on the ground in turkey, and you visited syria yourself and libya right across north africa in the middle east, do you feel that this red line has almost alloweded president assad to do what he wants to his own people?
murder them so long as he doesn't use chemical weapons? >> well, if you believe the rebel commanders today, he's not even concerned about breaching that line. if you ask almost anyone while we were in the country, there seem to be little regard for civilian casualties or the death toll in general. it seems that the government wants to cause a large number of casualties. it wants to people to be terrorized, beaten into submission. this is the same kind of policy his father used, so i'm not sure if the threat of a red line was really intimidating him much at all and if no action is taken, what kind of action will that be help f helpful if the opposition feels that he will be em boldened further add he was to begin with. >> indeed.
finally, steven, briefly if you can, where do you see next steps in the process of managing what's happening in syria? >> well, the next steps are bad. we have john kerry going to russia and try and see if there is any hail mary pass to get assad out of the government. the u.n. negotiator, they've said he's going to step down. this is a very, very negative take on the possibility of putting the sides together, so i regrettably predict that everything we see today that is very, very bad is likely to get much worse. >> steve and richard, thank you both so much. we'll be right back. nah. okay. this, won't take long will it? no, not at all. how many of these can we do on our budget? more than you think. didn't take very long, did it? this spring, dig in and save. that's nice.
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165,000 new jobs were created last month, which was more than many expected. as a result, the unemployment rate stands at 7.5%. since the financial crash and recession of 2008, this is how unemployment in the united states has been going. again, it's not fast enough, but it's going in the right direction. of course, this is isn't enough for republicans like eric cantor, who's just issued this statement. today's jobs report showed some signs of hope for the thousands of people who found a job in april. however, this growth is way behind our nation's potential. mr. cantor, like speaker john boehner and house budget committee chair paul ryan, all want to reduce the size of government and slash public sector employment. because they believe that this is the best approach to encouraging economic growth. and fortunately enough, there are western democracies that have been deploying these harsh,
antistimlative principles to get out of recession, so here's a quick reminder of how the american economy has been doing in terms of unemployment and now, let's take a look at unemployment in italy, which now stands at 11.5% and has introduced a range of austerity measures and in ireland, where unemployment is currently at 14%, but the best example of all is spain, where unemployment is now at 27.2%. can you imagine what the level of unemployment would be if the republicans were allowed eed to impose their strategy on this nation's slow recovery? but even more disturbing than that the is the fact this nation could be doing much better if they would support a single one of the administration's efforts to increase employment. you know, the saddest truth we've learned over the last four
years is that some republicans prefer to stick it to the president even if it harms the country. and that's not patriotism. that is a pathology. thanks so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. houston, we have a problem. let's play "hardball." good evening. glee, it's a tv show, also what we're seeing happening on a stage down in houston tonight. we're looking at the triumph of gun power over the will of the people. 90% of the american people want better background checks on who buys a gun. they want a way to stop felons, the criminally insane and wife beaters, if